29 August 2018 by Spencer Symmons
If you listen carefully, you may just be able to hear the sound of world-leading researchers and ambitious tech leaders in Wales jumping for joy as they celebrate the latest news: earlier this month, Chancellor Phillip Hammond revealed the government’s plans to pump £51m into the Welsh Tech Industry in a bid to encourage innovation and create jobs throughout this fast-growing tech cluster.
The new funding aims to back Britain’s best and brightest tech talent by providing them with the resources they need to thrive through the creation of hubs, cutting-edge factories and advanced training centres. It comes as part of the government’s strategy to strengthen the foundations of productivity across the country; a flame they have certainly ignited in cities such as Cardiff and Swansea where students and start-ups alike have access to the space, technology and people they need to bring their ideas to life.
Already, investment in the Welsh tech sector has contributed towards the creation of new products, services and ground-breaking inventions that have helped place Wales firmly on the map for innovation. The additional funding will go towards expanding the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in Cardiff, which is due to open its innovation centre in early 2019.
Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said the funding “cements Wales’s reputation as a leader in advanced electronics”.
“Bringing together academics and businesses to develop new technologies will support areas of our daily lives from the next-generation 5G mobile network to improving scanning at airport security,” he said.
Our investment in this technology will help Welsh businesses exploit a hugely lucrative global market and ensure that Wales continues to lead the world in science and innovation, creating vital new jobs along the way.”
With tech analysts predicting that the world market for compound semiconductors will increase from $66 billion to over $300 billion by 2030, it’s imperative that Wales plays a pivotal role in this growth. The Catapult Innovation Centre will be home to a design studio, various laboratories and test facilities supported by advanced technologies: if successful, it will give companies a welcome boost in productivity and accelerate the development of new products using compound semiconductors.
Upon announcing the news, the Chancellor made clear the government’s intention to keep Britain at the forefront of technological advancement.
“We are backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs, as we build an economy fit for the future,” he said.
“Today’s £51 million investment for Wales will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future and the better, highly-paid jobs we all want to see.”
Further to the £51m in Wales, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced £780m of additional funding for 'catapult centres’ across the UK, which are designed to fuel innovation across the country.
“By backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future. Today’s £780m investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need."
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